The cyber Security research organization, Emerging Threats, has quickly grown from an online open source community, to a world-leading provider of malware and malicious threat intelligence with its commercialized products — ETPro Ruleset and IQRisk Suite.

Backed by Indiana-based HALO Capital Group and Elevate Ventures, Emerging Threats is helping enterprises protect private and public networks from hacking incidents like the infamous Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches due to malware that compromised 40 million consumer credit cards and other personal data.

CEO Ken Gramley explained why it seems like hackers have the upper hand during an April TechPoint Tech Thursday presentation. “In the beginning there were kids, they were doing these things [malware], they grew up and needed to make money, and so they created a business model.” Today, the global cost of cybercrime, including direct financial losses by victims, exceeds the black market value for heroin, cocaine and marijuana combined, according to Symantec.

“Security is kind of the inverse of convenience, so the more things that you add to your network, whether it’s bring your own device, whether it’s more and more complicated websites, the more lines of code you have going into something that you’re delivering to a customer, by definition the more vulnerable it’s going to be because there’s more opportunities for software engineers to make mistakes. So as things grow in complexity and ease of use, as the security goes down the risk goes up.”

Takeaways from presentation:

  • Risk = Threat x Vulnerabilty x Value
  • It’s not enough to install some virus software. Today’s threats require finding the criminals and preventing them from connecting to your network.
  • In the 1970s, stealing $1 million required guns and a forklift. Today criminal steal $1 one million times online.
  • Hackers are now service providers renting out their botnets to steal your stuff and then using your network to steal other people’s stuff.
  • Be careful where you go on the Internet. The neighborhood you hang out in applies online. You don’t go to sketchy neighborhoods, so don’t go to sketchy websites. (Gambling sites, for example.)

About Tech Thursday 

Leaders of industry and thinking come together at TechPoint’s public networking event held the third Thursday of every month. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served before and after a brief presentation by a leading industry executive, allowing guests to get up close and personal with prospects, competitors, partners and more.

Tech Thursday is sponsored by voice, data and managed services provider LightBound and hosted by the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels. The event is free, open to the public and held at the northside Indianapolis offices of Faegre Baker Daniels.

Register for the next Tech Thursday featuring a yet-to-be-determined TechPoint Mira Award. In the past we have heard from winners in the Innovation of the Year, Emerging Tech Company and Startup of the Year categories.